Pure is such a buzz word especially when it comes to water. Since bottled water popped on the scene in the 90s, people have wondered about the water that flows through the tap in their home. Is bottled water better? With all the claims that are made by these companies about their waters, are they really as pure as they say?
Bottled Water Regulation
Tap water flows from community water systems. These are regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and required to submit testing reports annually to the government.
Bottled water is a bit different. It is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) like any other food product. Bottlers are required to regularly test their source water as well as perform quality control on their bottled products for safety and contaminant levels. They must also bottle water using sanitary practices and monitor the source for any contamination.
Pure depends on your standards. Read the label on your water bottle and see where the source water comes from. If it is a municipal supply then it is filtered or distilled tap water you are paying for. And, since you already pay for water, you are paying twice for the same thing.
It is true that the tap water must be further purified in some way for bottlers to label it such, but you don’t know to what extent this process was carried out. The EPA already employs regulations on community water supplies.
When it comes to bottled water, what is left in is just as important as what is filtered out. For instance, certain levels of beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium are important to health and therefore present in tap water. The levels may be lower in bottled water. This is not the case with all bottled waters. Some of the more expensive ones do provide more healthy minerals. But, these same minerals can be gleaned from the water in your home.
The level of minerals in bottled water can be helpful to some. For babies, making formula with bottled water can be a healthier option for those whose immune systems are still developing. For those with immune-compromised systems, bottled water can also offer a healthier option.
For the majority of us, though, if you compare the mineral content of bottled water with that of your tap water, you may find the differences unremarkable. It depends on your taste and your health needs.
As far as purity is concerned, many experts say that bottled water is just as safe as tap water. It may provide a few more minerals but you are paying an exorbitant price for them. Instead, ask for changes in regulations on water sources.